In what was described as a “rare sight,” a bald eagle was spotted recently near the city of Orange, the Orange County Public Works department said Monday.
A Public Works inspector was near the Santa Ana River channel just north of Glassell Street last Wednesday when he captured multiple pictures of the majestic bird of prey.
The department posted three of those photos on its Facebook page Monday afternoon.
Once close to extinction in the lower 48 states, the bald eagle — a national symbol and one of North America’s largest birds — has made a remarkable comeback in the past three decades, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Although the range of the rare raptors is spread out across North America, they are most likely to be spotted in California between December and March, the department stated.
Typically, they can be found at lakes, reservoirs, rivers and coastal wetlands, Fish and Wildlife officials say.
More than 1,000 bald eagles have been counted in California in some midwinter statewide surveys, with the largest concentration found in the Klamath Basin, on the state’s border with Oregon, according to the department. Beyond that area, there are relatively few parts of the state that support larger numbers.
Still, “Wintering bald eagles that are alone or in small groups may be seen near lakes and rivers, even open rangelands, in any county of California from time to time,” the department stated on its website.